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Just About Ready to Pull the Trigger

(22 posts)
  • Started 1 year ago by LadyFitzgerald
  • Latest reply from LadyFitzgerald
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Now that my case is as finished as it’s ever going to be, I’ll be pulling the trigger in February or March on the major parts for my first computer build. To start, I’m going to order only the bare bones parts necessary to get the thing up and running. I figure the less that gets installed at first, the easier it will be to troubleshoot any problems. Once it is running, I can add parts as needed. What I would appreciate is if you all can review the parts I’m going to order to make sure I’m not forgetting anything or doing something stupid.

As I mentioned, I already have the case prepped with case fans and power supply. These are the parts I already have:

Case: Antec Two Hundred V2. I chose this case because of the air filtration (dust is a huge problem where I live), relative ease to seal air leaks (to reduce dust buildup inside), size (I need it to be small due to space restrictions), HDD capacity (up to six), and the 2.5” hot swap bay. I added a 3.5” hot swap bay and put in sound dampening foam inside on the side panels, the top, and the back. It has only two USB 2.0 ports on the front but I will pick up one or four USB 3.0 ports, depending on which internal card reader I add later (one would be plenty).

Optical drive: An el cheapo LG DVD drive I snagged on sale for $15 from NewEgg to use for making up my PSU cables. I’ll use it for installing the OS and, once the system is up and running, replace it with a BD burner.

Fans: Thermaltake AF0018 120mm. Two at the front blowing in through the HDD bay, one intake on the left side panel, and one exhaust at the back (I blocked off the blow hole since I’m trying to get as close to positive pressure ventilation as I can to reduce the amount of dust getting in through the cracks that can’t be sealed; I can always unblock it and replace the fan if needed). Each fan has its own speed control pot and is fed directly from the PSU (I prefer that the case fans run at constant speed; it makes any noise I do hear less noticeable). All intake fans are filtered. I chose these because of the speed control pots (less wiring) and they are reasonably quiet (quieter than the two Antec fans that came with the case).

PSU: Corsair HX750W (older style). I chose this one because of its reputation, seven year warranty, size (plenty of overhead for expansion), and it’s semi-modular to make cable management a bit easier.

SSD: Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB. Just ordered and should be delivered Monday.

HDDs: Western Digital Black WD2002FAEX 2TB for the main data drive (I’ll cannibalize the one from my XP machine; it doesn’t have much use on it).

Western Digital Green WD20EARX 2TB for video storage drives and back ups (I’m testing the last of them right now; they take about 20 hours each using a USB 2.0 dock and I have two more to go).

I’ll initially have only the black and one green installed once the SSD is up and running. I’ll add greens as needed. Each HDD in the computer has three greens for back ups. I also have a couple of Western Digital Scorpio Blues 160 GB salvaged and reformatted from dead netbooks (they checked out as healthy) to back up the SDD (a third one is in the mail). I also have all the SATA data cables I need.

Monitor: My old 22” HP w2207h. I already have it from my old rig. I’ll upgrade later.

Keyboard: Logitech G110 USB wired (new).

Mouse: Logitech M525 USB wireless (new).

OS: Win 7 Ultimate (retail version; I'll install 64 bit)

These are the parts I will be ordering:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V Premium. I chose this board over the Deluxe for the extra two SATA 3.0 ports, more flexibility with the PCI-e sockets, more RAM capacity, and a thunderbolt port. Most of it is overkill right now (especially the thunderbolt port although it can be used as a display port) but I’ll hopefully be future proofed.

CPU: i7-3770K Ivy Bridge. I don’t plan on overclocking it but at least I will have the option should I change my mind. It costs only $20 more than a locked chip.

CPU Cooler: ZALMAN CNPS9500. Good reviews and should be small enough to fit in my case (in case the Zalman doesn’t fit, the stock cooler packed with the CPU is Plan B until I can find something else).

TIM: ARCTIC MX4 Thermal Paste. Good reviews and is nonconductive (semi-idiot proof?).

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance LP 32GB (4 x 8GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model CML32GX3M4A1600C10B. This is Plan A. It’s not listed in the MOBO’s tested memory but it’s in the same family as the one in Plan B which is on the list.

CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (4 x 4GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600 Model CML16GX3M4X1600C8. Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work. I’ll return the one I don’t use.

I didn’t list a video card because I’m still looking. I’ll use the on board video to get me up and running.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Just some thoughts,

Case:
Maximum video card size: 11.5"/292mm
(Note: some video cards may require removal of the adjacent hard drive cage)

Heat Sink:
I would use liquid cooler with fan on back of case.

Memory:
Standard Memory Two Profile Timings should be 9,9,9,24.

MB:
Premium is "tricked out" with a lot of bridging as Intel Z77 does not natively support Dual x16 x16 PCIe 3.

SSD:
I would use Two in Raid 0 Array on Intel 6GB Ports to give twice the speed and capacity.

Posted 1 year ago
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gedstar
Posts: 521

"Just About Ready to Pull the Trigger"

Thought you were going to shot somebody when I read the title of the post. :) :) haha

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

@ Rick. Case: Actually, the maximum GPU card length is 9" (including any cable connectors sticking out the end) due to the length of the HDDs (including cable connectors) sticking out of the cage when front fans are installed (which they are). Removal of the cages (and fans) is not an option. I have a list of six GPU cards so far that should phycally fit and support three monitors.

Heat Sink: Every closed system liquid cooler radiator I looked at (yes, I looked) had a tank that would probably interfere with the GPU card. Besides, I'm not planning on overclocking (the possibility of me overclocking is on par with me hitting a million in the lottery) nor am I a gamer (not even close!; the only game I play is M$ Pinball and that is rarely) so even a stock cooler should be enough (albeit barely). The cooler I chose is quieter than stock and still should fit in the case.

Memory: Why 9-9-9-24? The Corsair CMZ32GX3M4X1600C10 is on the tested list in the Premium's manual (yes, I actually downloaded it, read it, even understood a little bit) and is 10-10-10-27, same as the CML32GX3M4A1600C10B I listed. The CMZ32GX3M4X1600C10 I listed has a lower profile and is less likely to tango with the heat sink.

MB: I don't ever plan on using two GPU cards since one should meet my needs. I'm more interested in getting the two PCI-e 3.0 x8 sockets I would have still available after putting in a GPU card for any future "toys", such as a SATA controller card (which will be needed when I add the second video HDD).

SSD: Granted, two in RAID 0 would be faster but just one SSD will be so fast, both when booting up and when running programs, cutting that time in half wouldn't be a significant gain. Also, the computer will run 24/7 with occasional restarts to clear out the OS. When rebooting, I normally tend to walk away to tend to something else, such as a bio break, so boot time isn't a huge concern. I'm also limited on mounting space and available ports. I had already planned on putting both the SSD and the WD black on the two Intel ports and the video drives and swap bays on the Marvel ports and, eventually, a SATA controller card. The front e-SATA port on the 3.5" hot swap bay and the optical drive will go on the SATA 2.0 ports.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

There is reasons for my suggestions as posted however if you feel you have everything covered, then Build on. :) :)

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Seriously, I'm interested in your reasons (especially on the memory). I've given you mine.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

I think this memory has SPD with 1600 XMP 1.3 Profile. (9,9,9,24,2T)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6820233303
Has large H/S but will fit with Air Cooler.

The Air Cooler is Large so will be inconvenient to pull HDD Bays in and out.
Best to use smaller Liquid Cooling H/S.
From experience with Asus MBs and Antec Cases.

Best to use SSDs in bottom HDD Bay as they need no cooling fan and then can use longer most common Video Cards.
From Experience with Asus MBs and Antec Cases.

You setup O/C in Bios and the machine will only O/C when needed so machine is not O/Cing all the time.
Have to be familiar with EFI Bios to understand.

Remember I run 2 machines very similar to the one which you Build so have hands-on knowledge of what problems you may run into. :) :)

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Thanks, Rick. Those RAM sticks are tall but, since you said it will clear the air cooled heat sink, I've put it at the top of my memory list. The only 32GB 1600 RAM listed in the Premium manual is the same height but has been getting poor reviews on the Egg.

A sealed water cooler would be more sanitary than an air cooler (and may cool better) but it's highly unlikely the radiator will fit. Installing and replacing HDDs is not a problem on this case. All I have to do is remove the case sides, the front panel (easy; just pop three clips), and swing the front fan cage off (again easy, just pop two clips). The HDDs can then be "slud" in and out from the front of the case. The HDD cage is integrated with the 5.25" bays and is permanently riveted to the case. Here is a picture showing the front of the case with the front panel removed and the fan cage swung open:

This case has holes prepunched in the bottom of the case under the bottom HDD for mounting the SSD (you can see the holes in the first picture). It comes with four silicone standoffs that pop into the holes and four large headed screws to mount the SDD with. If I ever decide I want or need to run two SSDs in RAID 0 for my boot drive, I can use the bottom HDD bay with a 2.5" to 3.5" HDD adapter and a Y cable from the existing SATA power cable to the SSDs but, for now, I would prefer to keep the space available for HDDs.

This picture shows how far the HDDs stick out of the back of the HDD cage:

I'm really looking forward to learning how to use the UEFI (said Jeannie fearfully with a bit of sarcasm).

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Oopsie.

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

The MOBO I wanted to use has disappeared from the market and apparently won't be back (mutter, mutter, mumble, mumble) so I'm going to have to make a change or two to my parts list:

MOBO: ASUS P8Z77-V DELUXE

RAM: CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9. Rick, this is the one you suggested for the PREMIUM MOBO I originally wanted; will it work with the DELUXE?

Everything else should be able to stay the same (methinks).

I do have some concerns about this board. I'm going to need to use a SATA controller to feed some of the HDDs (the MOBO doesn't have enough SATA ports to go around). I've got a StarTech PEXSAT34 PCI-Express 2.0 x4 SATA III (6.0Gb/s) 4-Port SATA on my list. The bottom PCI-e slot would be the ideal place to park this board but I'm concerned it might run into interference with the front panel audio connector on the MOBO. If that happens, I would have to move the card up to the second PCI-e x16 slot. It should work just fine there but I'm a little concerned if the graphics card would take too much of a performance hit by being downgraded to PCI-e x8. The card that is at the top of my list is the MSI R7850 Twin Frozr 2GD5/OC Radeon HD 7850 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16, chosen because it should be able to handle three identical 23" monitors (the monitors would be used for office type applications and web surfing although I would occasionally watch a movie on one while working on the other two) and it is short enough to fit in my case without sacrificing a HDD.

Another concern I have about the Startech controller is its reviews are less than stellar. NewEgg gives it four out five and Amazon, only 2.5 out of five. It seem the problems are compatibilty issues with some builds. If it doesn't work out on my build, then the LSI Internal SATA/SAS 9211-8i 6Gb/s PCI-Express 2.0 RAID Controller Card is next on the rather short list. It has gotten excellent reviews on the Egg and on Amazon but it requires a PCI-e x8 slot (the bottom slot of the MOBO is only PCI-e x4). If I put it in the bottom slot, I'm concerned if it would work well enough even though I'm probably only going to use only one SAS port with a break out cable to four SATA connectors (there is also a possibility it might tangle with the USB 2.0 headers). It should work fine on the second PCI-e x16 slot but, then, I'm concerned whether or not the graphics card would be still be able to meet my needs running on only 8 lanes. Frankly, if the graphics card will meet my needs running on 8 lanes, I'm tempted to go ahead and get the LSI, park it in the second PCI-e x16 slot, and not have to worry about it

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

I suggest waiting for new Haswell CPUs LGA 1150.

All NEW MBs will be released shortly and you could very well have a lot more options.

Ivy Bridge MBs are OLD hardware now.

No use putting a lot of hard earned money in something which will be at EOL within a few short months.

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

It will be about six more months before the Haswell will be released and there is no guarantee that the MOBOs will have anymore features (other than better onboard graphics). I'm also wondering if there will be a decent selection of MOBOs, CPU coolers, etc. Even if I wait to get a Haswell system, it will be obsolete in another year. I'm not the kind of person who has to have the latest and greatest all the time (not that there's anyting wrong with that) but I do need a desktop now (I've been using my notebook for everything) and I really don't really want to have to crawl around under my desk fooling with cables and getting my old XP machine up running again (the entire system will need to be rebuilt) just to do it again in six months (I'm still having a lot of problems with my knees, hips and shoulders and I have a bad back that never will get better so we are talking serious pain here; something as simple as putting in the outlet for the UPS took a lot of rest breaks and pretty much laid me up for a couple of days). If the Ivy Bridge and P8Z77-V DELUXE will meet my needs now, it will continue to do so for several years to come unless the thing blows up. It took me five years to outgrow my first desktop (and I still used it for two more years).

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

http://www.newegg.com/Product/.....6813131822
http://www.asus.com/Motherboar.....ifications
http://www.asus.com/Motherboard/P8Z77_WS/

PCI Express 3.0 x16 4 (x16/x16/0/0 or x16/x8/x8/0 or x8/x8/x8/x8)

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

One possible problem with that board: it doesn't have WiFi GO! I was counting on getting that.

Thanks, Rick.

Lessee... First x16 slot: GPU card. Second x16 slot: SATA card. That leaves me one x16 slot (the bottom one) running at x8 and two x1 slots to be split between a WiFi card (that probably wouldn't be as versatile as WiFi GO!) and a couple of TV tuners. I would have to use a USB port for Bluetooth (and it probably wouldn't have the range of WiFI GO!'s Bluetooth) and I would be SOL if I needed a sound card to pull off what I want to do with the speakers (two or three sets).

I could live with a single TV tuner to accomodate a sound card, push come to shove, which leaves concerns for WiFi. Any suggestions for replacing WiFi GO!? Besides eventually running three 23" monitors, I would also need to stream HD video (movies and recorded TV) to a DLNA compliant TV or, preferably, two (both would get the same programming). I can remotely control the computer using a wireless mouse (the ones I'm using have an up to 50' range, based on actual measurements).

Except for the lack of the WiFi GO!, this board is growing on me.

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

LF,

Unfortunately I've not experimented with WiFi GO! that much.

I have transfered Files between my smart phone & system over short distances flawlessly however using BT.

Don't know how configuring a hub would would do.

As for regular WiFi to wireless router, the P8Z77-V Deluxe works Fine

May be you would get a better opinion by searching Asus WiFi GO! on the google or bing.

In the past, the Asus Work Station MBs were the top of the line.

The Extreme MB model is the exception in the P8 series.

I would have Built the WS MB if I hadn't wanted to mess around with my "Dumb Phone". (LOL)

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Hmmmm... After mulling over it a bit (ok, a bunch), I've eliminated most of the features of WiFi GO! I don't need remote desktop since Win 7 Ultimate has it (not to mention a wireless mouse will also work for me). The only thing I needed Bluetooth for would have been wireless headphones. There are kinds of wireless headphones which operate off the headphone port and most have more range than Bluetooth. I can always get Bluetooth with a USB adapter. The cool ones even glow blue.

I found a WiFi card that gets fairly good reviews and is supposed to be able to stream HD video. It even will connect to a router (ok, it's late). The antennas will be less in the way than the ones that come with WiFi GO!

The only thing I don't like about this card is the location of the front panel audio header. What on earth were they thinking? Oh, wait. My mistake. They weren't thinking. Oh well, it's not catastrophic (just *&^%! annoying).

If I get this board, unless I'm reading things wrong, I would use the top PCIe x16 slot for the GPU card running on 16 lanes. The second PCIe slot runs at x8 and I can run the LSI SATA card in there. The next slot is a PCIe x1 and can take a TV tuner. I would have to skip the next PCIe x16 slot to avoid knocking the top slot down to x8. The next PCIe x1 slot would be where the second TV tuner would go. The bottom PCIe x16 slot runs at x8 and I could put the WiFi card there (yeah, I know, it's overkill but the antennas would be less in the way down there. If (a big if) I find I need a sound card, I can always sacrifice a TV tuner.

Since the LSI card can run of the full 8 lanes it needs, I would have SATA III ports galore. If I ever lose my mind and feel a serious need for speed, I could run two 64GB SSDs in RAID 0 on the Intel ports (that would cost me a data drive since I would need that space for the SSDs) and cache the main data drive with an SSD using the two Marvel ports. The LSI could feed the five remaining data drives and the two hot swap bays. The optical drive would run off one of the onboard SATA II ports.

If I get this board (I want to mull it over some more), would the RAM you had suggested earlier (which I linked above) and the GPU I linked still work for this board?

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

?

Posted 1 year ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920
 
LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

Thanks, Rick!

Ok, the P8Z77 WS you just linked is the MOBO I was referring to so all's good there. Same for the CPU so no worries there, either. RAM, however...I wanted 32 GB. Earlier, you had suggested this one: CORSAIR Vengeance 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 Desktop Memory Model CMZ32GX3M4A1600C9. Will it fly?

This machine will be used for internet surfing, office applications, music notation (essentially, graphics and sound creation; 4 GB RAM when run with sound samples for sequencer), photo editing (I can easily run out of 4 GB RAM when going through photos after a trip; doing the editing in small chunks is getting old), streaming HD movies, ripping CDs, DVDs, and BDs (and storing them on the machine, hence all the HDDs), video and audio editing, playing music, and scanning and storing books and e-books (scanning books can be RAM intensive, especially ones with numerous color illustrations since they have to be run through several processes). Some of that I would be doing simultaneously.

See you tomorrow.

Posted 1 year ago
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LadyFitzgerald
Posts: 2232

I'm going to be running Win 7 Ultimate, btw.

Posted 1 year ago
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